Things to Do in Kensington

Attractions in Kensington

With Kensington being one of the most affluent and upscale areas of London, it’s not hard for visitors to imagine an area full of wealth and opulence. While they’re almost certainly right, there’s also wealth and a plethora of attractions in the neighbourhood that complement its rich reputation. While some may be obvious (Kensington Palace to name one of them), there are some that may not be so well known. 

  • Kensington Palace 

One of the Royal Palaces of the British Royal Family since William III and Mary II in the late 17th century, Kensington Palace has also been the home of the young Queen Victoria, Princess Diana, and now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Explore the grand and opulent King’s State Apartments (each one more lavish than the previous), discover more about the inhabitants of the palace and have beautiful walks around the gardens. As well as taking a pic of the Queen Victoria statue. Out of all the things to do in Kensington, this is one of the key attractions that aren’t to be missed.

Ticket prices are £17.50 for adults and £8.70 for children, whilst members go free.

  • Royal Albert Hall 

Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, and named after her late husband, Prince Albert, the Royal Albert Hall holds a special place in the heart of British culture. Notable for being the home of the Proms, a few BAFTA Award ceremonies, as well as selective film premieres and band performances, this is one of the key highlights in the area. From its fluted aluminum roof and bright diffuser discs to the pomp of the 19th century that still exudes from its structure, no visitor can miss the chance to see an event in here or to have a guided tour. 

Tickets for events can vary in price, with the guided tours also varying in price thanks to group rates.

  • Harrods 

Located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is the largest department store in Europe and is forever crowded with tourists and Londoners that want something unique, luxurious and splashy. Some of the products on offer include clothing for women, men, children and infants, electronics, jewelry, bridal trousseau, toys, food and drink, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, furniture, and much more. If there’s a top spot to shop in London, then it’s at Harrods.

Be aware that prices are going to be a bit steep as the Harrods label costs more than the items in there.

  • Kensington Square Park

One of the oldest park squares in Kensington, this homely green space is lovely for a calm walk in the morning, afternoon or evening. Take a seat and just watch the crazy city and its hectic nature flies by from dusk till dawn. Naturally, the park is free to enter and relaxing isn’t chargeable at all.

Museums in Kensington

Knowledge, dust, crowds, gift shops - these are just some of the things that spring to mind when we think of museums. Not just for rainy days or a way of trying to entertain impatient children, museums are a way to really connect to the past and all its advances in technology and human intuition. Out of all the things to do in Kensington, exploring the museums are a must.

  • The Natural History Museum 

Featuring 80 million items within five main collections (botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology, and zoology), the Natural History Museum is a pinnacle of learning and knowledge in the heart of London. From its dinosaur bones, human evolution exhibits, a collection of rocks, hordes of animals specimens and more, this museum is a great adventure into the wonder that is planet Earth. There’s also a cafe here for those that need to nourish their appetites as well as their minds.

While the museum is free to enter, it is recommended to donate £5 to the museum.

  • The Science Museum 

Founded in 1857, visitors can charter the Industrial Revolution right through to the Space Age, the rise of the internet and the prominence of AI. James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Alan Turning are just some of the prominent scientists in history whose work can be indulged and respected throughout the exhibits and special events. Visitors can check out the old engines, space equipment, old cars and so much more.

The museum is free to enter but it is best to donate a couple of pounds as the exhibits are really out of this world.

  • Leighton House Museum

One of the most remarkable buildings of the 19th century, Leighton House (home to the artist Lord Frederic Leighton) is the only purpose-built studio-house open to the public in the UK. With lavish decor and opulent furnishings, looking around this place will really open up the eyes of visitors to how “the other half lived”. Plus it has hordes of art and other hidden treasure to entertain those that want to see something different and special.

Tickets are £9 per adult, £7 for senior citizens (and other concessions) and are free for Art Fund Members, under 18s, Friends of Leighton House and ICOM Members.

  • Design Museum

Experience the wonders and grandeur of the creative mind when you put aside a few hours for this cool museum. Explore the history of contemporary design, take in a few lectures, talks, courses and workshops or some of the events that are aimed at young people and families that are interested in the weird and wacky world of design.

There is free entry to the museum but some of the temporary exhibits might cost.

  • 18 Stafford Terrace

Another opulent surrounding, 18 Stafford Terrace was the home of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne, his wife, their two children, and their servants. With an “aesthetic interior”, decorated in the “House Beautiful” style, using foreign or 'exotic' influences in the decoration of the home - which can be seen by the various Japanese, Middle-Eastern and Chinese objects throughout the home. A real treat for those that love the past as well as dynamic and lavish interiors, 18 Stafford Terrace is a rare trip back in time.

To gain access, tickets are £9 per adult, £7 for senior citizens (and other concessions) and are free for Art Fund Members, under 18s, Friends of Leighton House and ICOM Members. Be aware that tickets for tour guides, costumed guides and half-term pricing does vary.

Food and Drink in Kensington

Much like any part of London, Kensington is host to a variety of restaurants and eateries that constantly deliver the 

  • Launceston Place 

One of Kensington’s hidden gems, Launceston Place serves a flamboyant, delicate and seasonally-inspired European menu. Whether guests choose the a la carte menu, one of its tasting menus or the Saturday and Sunday menus, a whirlwind of flavours are set to make every lunch or evening meal come alive. Anyone thinking of dining here would do best to make a reservation.

Address: 1A Launceston Pl, Kensington, London W8 5RL

  • Kitchen W8 

A Michelin-starred restaurant, it crafts modern English food with a French soul - an intriguing combination that has kept the restaurant in the top 10 favourites with locals and workers in the Kensington area. With both a set and tasting menu, customers can have full choice and ownership over what appears on their plate and how adventurous they want to be when they arrive.

Address: 11-13 Abingdon Rd, Kensington, London W8 6AH

  • Elystan Street 

Time for guests to bask in more European foods when they choose to quell their appetite at this handsome restaurant. Their a la carte and set menus all deliver succulent flavours and tasteful delights, like sea bass, octopus, fowl bolognese, duck and so much more. Anyone can find something here that will create a whole new dining experience that will be more than memorable.

Address: 43 Elystan St, Chelsea, London SW3 3NT

  • Balans 

For scrumptious food that will leave any belly full to the brim, surely Balans in Kensington is a top pick? With the likes of the delicious Balans burger, crispy pork belly, roasted scallops and Thai red curry, there is much to be had on the menu for every type of palette. And then, of course, there’s the cocktails like the Porn Star Martini or the Classic Irish Modernist to be had at the cocktail bar, suitable as a starter to prepare for the evening or at the end to swill it all down.

Address: 187 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6SH

  • Brunch Muriel’s Kitchen

Serving up its own version of British Charm, this lively London bistro is ideal for breakfasts, family lunches, catch-ups for old friends, romantic nights out and even a solitary and quiet bites. Whether guests just want a quick nibble of something or a cup of tea.coffee, the friendly and ambient atmosphere makes it an ideal pick.

Address: 1-3 Pelham St, Kensington, London SW7 2ND

  • The Ledbury 

With two Michelin stars, this restaurant is arguably one of the key places to eat on any visit to Kensington. From the likes of lobster, pork, meringue, roast cod, black figs, and many other varieties, all guests and happy eaters can find much to indulge their senses in. Due to its intense popularity, it is best to book a table to be on the safe side.

Address: 127 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ

Shopping in Kensington

Every traveller loves to shop until they drop; it’s one of the perks of travelling after all. And this can more than be done in the likes of London’s Kensington. With a catalog of shops, markets, and boutique stores, Kensington can really provide for guests and travellers that want something a little more sophisticated and precious as opposed to gifts that are more mundane and broad. Sparkly trinkets and many other lavish pieces are awaiting new homes here, so guests should charge on around before they miss the ideal pick.

  • Portobello Road Market 

One of the world’s largest antique markets, Portobello Road Market is really 7 markets in 1. With the likes of second-hand goods being sold, along with antiques, food, clothes, fruit & veg, and so much more, this long street will be one of the key places for guests to shop throughout their short or long trip in Kensington.  

  • South Kensington Books 

This book store may well be a tight squeeze for crowds but it is more than worthy to stand beside the rest of the bookshops that have stood in the same spot since the 1940s. With modern classics mixed in with the “real” classics, and with all the books of history and science interwoven with philosophy, technology, and art, this is a book worm’s treasure chest. 

  • Harrods 

Situated on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is the largest department store in Europe and is always over-crowded with tourists and busy Londoners that want something that signifies status and luxury. A few of the products on offer include clothing for women, men, children and infants, electronics, jewelry, bridal trousseau, toys, food and drink, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, furniture, and much more. If there’s a top spot to shop in London, then, surely, it’s at Harrods.

  • L.K.Bennett 

A luxury fashion brand, this is where a few of the upscale shoppers go to choose their new style for the season. Travellers can have a deep dive into the best of London fashion as well as a few little trinkets that add an extra splash to the glitz and glamour.

  • Harvey Nichols 

While it may be a chain, the flagship store is here in Knightsbridge in all its glamour. With all the usual beauty and fashion goods spread throughout the store, shoppers can really enjoy themselves in one of the key fashion chains. Shopping for luxury brands has never been so enjoyable. 

  • Whole Foods 

They may be all over America, and they’re all over London too. With all the American grub (but probably not the portions), this is another way to experience the US of A without the extortionate plane ticket. Healthy foods abound here as does the American touch. Great for breakfast and dinner shops, or even just for a few light snacks, missing this great brand off the shopping list would be sinful.

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